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Google Glass: What's With All the Hate? 775

Posted by samzenpus
from the half-empty-glasses dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Techcrunch takes a look at why so many people seem to make fun of Google Glass. From the article: 'Google Glass isn't even on sale yet and there is already a noticeable backlash against Google's first experiment in wearable computing. It's odd to see a product that was greeted with so much hype a year ago endure the love-hate cycle so quickly – even though there are only a few thousand units in the wild. Sure, we've done our share to popularize "glasshole" as a way to describe its users, but the backlash seems to go beyond the usual insidery tech circles.'"
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Google Glass: What's With All the Hate?

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  • by aamcf (651492) on Monday May 27, 2013 @03:54PM (#43834449) Homepage

    At the moment Google Glass can't do very much, but it is only a matter of time before it does more.

    I have mild face blindness, and it would be fantastically useful for me to have a pair of glasses that could identify who I was talking to.

    Equally well, it would make life very difficult for me if other people had similar glasses. I run a website that is considered objectionable to some people. If everyone could recognise me every time I went out to buy milk, it would be very difficult for me to live anything like a normal life.

    The passive-aggressive nature of social networks would be magnified if they were in any way integrated with Google Glass or indeed any wearable computer.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 27, 2013 @04:01PM (#43834503) Journal

    "Gargoyles are no fun to talk to. They never finish a sentence. They are adrift in a laser-drawn world, scanning retinas in all directions, doing background checks on everyone within a thousand yards, seeing everything in visual light, infrared, millimeter. wave radar, and ultrasound all at once. You think they're talking to you, but they're actually poring over the credit record of some stranger on the other side of the room, or identifying the make and model of airplanes flying overhead. For all he knows, Lagos is standing there measuring the length of Hiro's cock through his trousers while they pretend to make conversation. ..."


    "Gargoyles represent the embarrassing side of the Central Intelligence Corporation. Instead of using laptops, they wear their computers on their bodies, broken up into separate modules that hang on the waist, on the back, on the headset. They serve as human surveillance devices, recording everything that happens around them. Nothing looks stupider; these getups are the modern-day equivalent of the slide-rule scabbard or the calculator pouch on the belt, marking the user as belonging to a class that is at once above and far below human society. They are a boon to Hiro because they embody the worst stereotype of the CIC stringer. They draw all the attention. The payoff for this self-imposed ostracism is that you can be in the Metaverse all the time, and gather intelligence all the time. ..."

    Glassholes are essentially a late-alpha/early-beta iteration of the Gargoyles from Snow Crash. The people who managed to bring the dickery that was bluetooth earpieces to an even more vital sense, along with just enough camera to get that 'incipient paparazzi' thing going.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 27, 2013 @04:09PM (#43834563) Journal

    Architecturally, it isn't all that different from a cellphone(because it mostly is one, albeit wrapped around your head); but it's a cellphone without any of the social cues

    Sure, a cellphone can be used for recording; but the one that's in your pocket, or sitting on the table, or being used by you to check your twitfeed likely isn't. It's just a matter of geometry: one camera on the back, possibly one on the face of the device. Similarly, it's easy enough for you to use your phone to ignore me; but it's also quite obvious when you do so.

    Glass just takes those delightful features and makes "device is turned off; but these glasses don't fold, so I'm storing them on my face" and "device is actively recording and sending to the mothership" and every state in-between functionally indistinguishable. It's the equivalent of somebody holding a cellphone in recording posture, with their finger hovering on the controls, at all times.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday May 27, 2013 @04:17PM (#43834649)
    I don't have a Facebook account. I have a fake name on my Google accounts and Twitter. I don't ever use my real name on forums. I even gave Blizzard a fake name. I take GREAT care to leave my personal life off the internet and preserve my privacy. So now what do we have? Some asshole walking around taking videos or pictures in complete stealth mode with no LED to tell you it's recording or in use. Early adopters are also usually the tech-addicted people that put a picture of everything moderately interesting on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. If I start saying something funny or interesting to a glass user and they stealthy hit record, I don't want that video of myself out on their 1000-friend Facebook page without my knowledge.

    For those of you about to say any video recording is public and the law says I can be video recorded at any time in public because that's the reasonable expectation of privacy, you're missing the logic of that. I want some basic privacy so then I guess I'll just never go out in public ever. Wait, no, it would be easier to just make Glass and other covert recording devices illegal everywhere.
  • Re:Well now (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cduffy (652) <> on Monday May 27, 2013 @04:21PM (#43834691)

    He chooses what to post on to the internet. If somebody wearing Glass walks up to you, your property, or your workplace, you have no choice in the matter as to which of your activities gets uploaded to Google.

    So what? If you're in a public place, you had no expectation of privacy to start with... and a world where you did, where people are prevented from photography in public by virtue of needing to get permissions from every single person near them, is no world I'd want to live in at all.

    This is probably just a matter of valuing things differently; I value a person's right to record things which happen around them in public more than I wish to grant a new right not to be recorded in public places (thereby allowing any single member of the multitude present in a crowd to restrict the entirety of the masses nearby).

  • by barc0001 (173002) on Monday May 27, 2013 @04:40PM (#43834853)

    Get over it. If you're out in public you have no privacy. Any time you go to the store you're captured in dozens of camera views even before you make it into the parking lot.

    "But there is no defense against people walking into your store,"

    When I walk into your store, you're already videotaping ME, why should you have a problem if I level the playing field?

    It's the difference between a surveillance society (which we already have) and a sousveillance society. Already we can be held to account by those running the cameras, but those in power are desperately trying to make sure we can't hold them accountable by the same means:,0,760051,full.story

    I think if you're out in public, it's fair game. If you don't want guests coming into your residence or a private function wearing it, tell them to take it off. It's like shoes.

  • Misconceptions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Namarrgon (105036) on Monday May 27, 2013 @05:26PM (#43835183) Homepage

    Scanning these first comments, most of the complaints seem based on their own idea of Glass, or perhaps what they fear future devices may end up as, but not what Glass is today.

    For example: It's crap as a media player (sound is poor, video is low-res and washed out) . It's not "always-on recording" or streaming everything to Google, and would rapidly run out of battery if you tried. It does light up when recording or taking pictures, like a regular video camera (and unlike phones or keychain camcorders). And Google specifically forbids ads on the whole platform.

    Maybe one day some people will wear devices that are worth the hate, but Glass isn't it. Personally I see it all as another manifestation of the recent anti-Google narrative that's been so carefully constructed (e.g. ask yourself if you'd have the same reaction to "Apple Glass").

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @12:05AM (#43837333) Journal

    it has benefits just as much as problems.

    imagine if a cop knows he is being recorded by an unknown number of devices. You think he's still going to try to abuse a situation?

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen